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Downpayment Assistance for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, etc

Tuesday, February 02, 2016   /   by George Chiriboga

Downpayment Assistance for Teachers, Police Officers, Firefighters, etc

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This program provides 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans to eligible homebuyers wishing to achieve the American dream of homeownership. In addition to a low interest rate, these programs offer down payment and closing cost assistance in the form of a grant. These programs are available through a network of participating lenders across the state.

The current maximum interest rate on a 30-year fixed FHA, VA or USDA (RHS) mortgage loan is 5.0 %.  This rate will provide a 5% grant for downpayment and closing costs assistance. 

Under the Homes for Texas Heroes Program, the Texas Legislature defines a “Texas Hero” as one of the following:

  • Classroom Teacher
  • Teacher Aide
  • School Librarian
  • School Nurse
  • School Counselor
  • Nursing and Allied Health Faculty member
  • Veteran
  • Firefighter
  • EMS Personnel
  • Peace Officer
  • Corrections Officer (TDCJ or TJJD)
  • County Jailer
  • Public Security Officer 

Additionally, a homebuyer must:

  • You do not need to be a first-time homebuyer;
  • Reside in Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Montgomery counties.
  • Meet standard mortgage underwriting requirements which demonstrate credit worthiness; 
  • Occupy the purchased home as their primary residence;
  • Complete a HUD approved homebuyer education course prior to closing on the home loan;
  • You do not need to live in the home for any set period of time.

Who is eligible for the programs?
The programs were created to provide affordable mortgage loans exclusively for Texas Professional Educators, Texas "Heroes", and low income Texans.

The definition of a Professional Educator is a public full-time classroom teacher, public full-time paid teacher's aide, public full-time librarian, public full-time counselor, or public full-time school nurse, or effective September 1, 2007,  an allied health or professional nursing program faculty member .

Low income is defined as those individuals or families whose annual incomes do not exceed 80% Area Median Family Income. Incomes vary by county.

AnchorWhat assistance is available to help an individual purchase a home?

TSAHC offers two types of assistance:

Low Interest Rate Loans and Down Payment Assistance 

  • 30-year fixed interest rate mortgage loan
  • Down payment and closing cost assistance grant of up to 5% of the loan amount (on FHA, VA, USDA and HFA Preferred Assisted loans)
  • Down payment assistance grant is a gift and never needs to be repaid
  • Assistance can be used to purchase a home or refinance an existing loan

Mortgage Credit Certificates

  • Provides the home buyer with up to $2,000 every year as a special federal income tax credit based on the interest paid on the mortgage loan
  • Can save the home buyer thousands of dollars over the life of the loan
  • Exclusively for first-time home buyers or individuals who have not owned a home in the last three years
  • Can be used with TSAHC’s Down Payment Assistance

You cannot apply for either type of assistance AFTER you have closed on your home loan.  Assistance is only available during the home purchase or refinancing process.

AnchorDo I have to pay back any portion of the down payment assistance grant provided by TSAHC?

You never have to pay a portion of TSAHC’s down payment assistance grant. It is a gift to you. 

AnchorCan I use both the Low Interest Rate Loan and the Mortgage Credit Certificate Programs together?

If you are a first-time home buyer, you may use both forms of assistance when purchasing your first home. 

Additionally, TSAHC’s Homeownership Programs can be combined with other down payment assistance programs offered in the home buyer’s city or county. 

AnchorWho is eligible for the homeownership programs?

TSAHC’s Homeownership Programs were created to provide affordable mortgage loans exclusively for “Texas Heroes" and low to moderate-income Texans.  Take the Eligibility Quiz to see if you qualify.

  • Click here for definitions of "Texas Heroes".
  • Low-income is defined as those individuals or families whose annual incomes do not exceed 80% of the Area Median Family Income. Incomes vary by county.  Click here to view incomes limits in your county. 

AnchorWhere can I use TSAHC’s Homeownership Programs and what type of homes can I purchase?

You may use TSAHC’s Homeownership Programs to purchase a home anywhere in Texas.  Our programs are not limited to certain areas or to TSAHC-specific homes. You many choose where you would like to live and the home you would like to purchase.  

AnchorAm I required to stay in the home for any minimum number of years if I use one of TSAHC’s Homeownership Programs?

No, you are not required to stay in the home for any period of time.  However, if you use TSAHC’s down payment assistance program prior to June 2012 or receive a TSAHC MCC you may be subject to Recapture Tax if you decide to sell your home within 9 years of purchase. Click here to learn more about Recapture Tax. 

AnchorAre there income restrictions?

Yes, home buyers cannot exceed program income limits. Click here to view the income limit for the county you are purchasing your home in.  If you do not see your county listed, please reference the “balance of state” row at the bottom of the chart. You can also take the Eligibility Quiz to see if your income exceeds our limits.

In order to start the process, please contact us at 713-589-3234 so we can connect you with an active participating lender approved by the program.